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Microsoft KB Archive/172264

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Knowledge Base

Article ID: 172264

Article Last Modified on 10/22/2000


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q172264


In Microsoft Excel 97, if you cancel the editing of a formula by pressing ESC and then pressing TAB, you may receive the following error message:

This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.
If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.

If you click Details, you receive an error message similar to the following:

EXCEL caused an invalid page fault in module EXCEL.EXE at 0137:3012c77a.


This problem occurs in Excel 97 when the Transition Navigation Keys option is enabled and you perform these steps:

  1. You begin editing a cell by clicking the Edit Formula button (which looks like an equal sign) to the left of the formula bar.
  2. You cancel the editing of the cell by pressing ESC.
  3. You press TAB.

NOTE: It does not matter if you select another cell before you press TAB; the problem still occurs.


To work around this problem, cancel the editing of the cell by clicking Cancel underneath the formula bar instead of pressing ESC. You can now press TAB without a problem.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article.


Excel includes a number of transition options that make it more familiar to Lotus 1-2-3 users. To enable or disable transition options, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options. Click the Transition tab.
  2. Click to select or clear the Transition Navigation Keys, Transition Formula Entry, and Transition Formula Evaluation check boxes as appropriate.
  3. Click OK.

If you select the Transition Navigation Keys option, additional help and buttons appear below the formula bar when you click the Edit Formula button.

Additional query words: XL97 ipf

Keywords: kberrmsg kbbug kbui KB172264